Dr. Christine Smith
I'm a PPI specialist with over 20 years of hands on experience of research, public involvement, programme management and research impact in the NHS and academia.
I obtained my PhD in Clinical Metabolism and Biochemistry in 2000 and spent four years as a Research Associate in the University of Sheffield. When an opportunity arose to migrate from clinical science to applied health research I joined the research team in Barnsley Hospital, where I stayed for 13 years. During this time my job was to ‘support researchers and increase research capacity’. I worked on a wide range of research and evaluation projects, ultimately leading the team as interim Director for Research.
Since 2008 I have worked within the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) as a programme manager and public involvement lead within the NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) South Yorkshire, CLAHRC Yorkshire and Humber and then the Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) Yorkshire and Humber. These regional collaborative research programmes use applied health research to improve health by helping reduce health inequalities. Public partnerships are an essential part of this work and I support research teams and public contributors to improve the quality and acceptability of research projects, set priorities for research and create accountability and transparency in decision making about research. Most recently I have chaired both a national Community of Practice for ARC public involvement leads and a similar regional group in Yorkshire and Humber.
In 2018 I left the NHS and joined the team in the School of Human and Health Sciences at the University of Huddersfield. My focus was to strengthen the collaboration with CLAHRC and ARC, and to support the impact efforts linked to the 2021 Research Excellence Framework submission. As part of this work I provided training for researchers and led the delivery of an Impact Case Study on behalf of a research team.
Since making the decision to work freelance in 2021 I now support researchers and strategic teams in the NIHR (National Institute for Health Research), not-for-profit organisations, charities and universities to improve the quality of their public involvement.
I bring a holistic perspective to public involvement, always with one eye on the goals of the project, but making sure that working with the public is a positive experience for everyone.
I have had the pleasure of working with Dr Christine Smith over the last few years and throughout this me Christine has demonstrated dedication, commitment and professional pride in achieving high standards of research output and project management. Christine was assigned the responsibility two years ago of leading an Impact Case Study for submission to the Research Excellence Framework REF 2021. Christine was introduced to this existing research project and through her hard work, tenacity and research expertise project lead this study to radically improve its development and completion for submission to REF 2021.
Without Christine’s leadership, understanding of research and organisation skills, the study would not have developed in terms of its depth, impact and reach. Christine as a person is very professional, accommodating and works relentlessly to achieve high standards in her work but does so with an enviable calmness. Christine has a friendly and inclusive approach offering support to individuals whilst providing initiative and expertise to direct and drive projects forward.
Dr Andrew Bland, University of Huddersfield 2021